Kristian Digby

Kristian Digby was a promising young TV presenter and an openly gay man that served as a role model for many young people. He actively supported them through charities such as the Albert Kennedy Trust and the Terrence Higgins Trust. His premature death in 2010 at the age of 33 in the house he built in Newham was a tragedy felt amongst many.

Although known for presenting property shows on the BBC, he also won a Junior BAFTA for his short film Words of Deception. He started out presenting Nightlife on ITV, and in 2001, he became one of four presenters on That Gay Show aired on BBC Choice (now BBC3). The show was designed to be light-hearted, concerned with lifestyle, fashion trends, and music. It also featured a look on the American gay scene, such as a feature on Gay Rodeo. Two years later, Kristian started presenting property shows for BBC 1, with one episode featuring the building of his new house in Newham.

In 2006 he openly discussed his own struggle with dyslexia and made a documentary Hiding the Truth: I Can't Read, in which he helped strangers who also suffered from it. Kristian was patron of the Albert Kennedy Trust, the charity dedicated to helping homeless LGBT youths. The many tributes paid to Kristian after his death show how much he meant to a great number of people. The Chief Executive of The Albert Kennedy Trust said:

“Kristian was an incredible supporter of our cause and had genuine empathy for our young people and the work we do. It is thanks to Kristian’s talent as a performer that we were able to raise much needed funds at our events where he played the role of both ambassador and auctioneer.”

He was also a supporter of the Terrence Higgins trust. His neighbours from Newham also remembered him fondly. One of them spoke of the way he inspired them to improve the area: “I’ve lived here for 22 years and he did more for this area in the short time he was here than I’ve ever seen anyone else do. I said to him, ‘What do you want to build a house here for, we’re the forgotten part of Newham!’ But he always said, ‘This is my dream home’. He got the council to plant shrubs and trees on the streets and in certain areas to make it look nice.” In response, Kristian said something which is anathema to some sections of the gay world. He said that in his life he wanted "a nice gay role model". I assumed that is what he hoped to be. He admitted he did a "light and fluffy" TV product, but explained: "I don't have to do innuendo and keep referring to my sexuality all the time and making it blatantly obvious that I am gay, because it's not that important."

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